Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
Al Armendariz quits after video from 2010 shows him calling for the crucifixion of oil companies that break environmental law
Al Armendariz, who oversaw the oil-rich south-western region of the Environmental Protection Agency, quit only days after video surfaced of a 2010 meeting in which he called on staff to make an example of companies that break environmental laws.
“The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” Armendariz said in the video.
The gaffe was an election-year gift to Republicans, who used Armendariz to skewer Obama’s economic policies.
In a letter to the head of the EPA, Armendariz offered a second apology since the remarks came to light last Wednesday, and said they had not informed his work regulation oil and gas industry in Texas.